Florida Division of Blind Services logo


Division Policy 6.11


Comparable Benefits


July 9, 2003


January 18, 2013


This policy will be reviewed and updated as needed.


To ensure that, comparable services and benefits are explored prior to providing any vocational rehabilitation service (except those services listed in paragraph 361.53(b) of the federal regulations) to an eligible individual or to members of the individual’s family.


34 CFR 361.53


Prior to providing vocational rehabilitation services to an eligible individual or his/her family, it must be determined whether comparable services and benefits exist under any other program and whether those services and benefits are available to the individual.

If comparable services and benefits exist under any other program and are available to the individual at the time needed to achieve the rehabilitation objectives in his or her IPE, those services and benefits must be utilized to meet, in whole or in part, the cost of VR services.

If comparable services and benefits exist, but are not available at the time needed to satisfy the rehabilitation objectives in the IPE, DBS must provide VR services until those comparable services and benefits become available.

The following services are exempt from a determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits:

  1. Assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs;
  2. Counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice;
  3. Referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies including other components of the Workforce Investment One-Stop service system, if such services are not available through the vocational rehabilitation program;
  4. Job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, follow-up services, and follow-along services;
  5. Post-employment services consisting of items 1 through 5.

The requirement of utilizing comparable services and benefits does not apply if:

  1. The determination of the availability of comparable services and benefits under any other program would delay the provision of VR services to an individual who is determined to be at extreme medical risk, based on medical evidence provided by an appropriate, qualified medical professional;
  2. An immediate job placement would be lost due to a delay in the provision of comparable services and benefits; or
  3. Use of a comparable service or benefit would delay an individual’s progress in achieving an employment outcome.

Original signed by Joyce Hildreth, Director on October 14, 2009